Gainesville, TX asked in Estate Planning for Texas

Q: I have a copy of my husbands will, notarized. Can his children fight me over it?

Cannot find the original will. But I know he left everything to me. What rights do his children have?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Terry Lynn Garrett
Terry Lynn Garrett
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Austin, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: In Texas a copy of a properly executed Will can be accepted for probate if two witnesses (or one witness and the notary) testify that it is a copy of the Will they signed or if two people who do not inherit testify that the handwriting is the decedent's handwriting.

Ross F. Tew agrees with this answer

Ross F. Tew
Ross F. Tew
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Arlington, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: As Attorney Garrett correctly stated, a copy of a Will can be probated in Texas. There are potential proof considerations to account for, as well as notice to the heirs as if there were no will. Your step children are free to dispute your application to probate the copy of the will. It is impossible to predict the outcome. If they were successful at setting aside the will, and the estate passed by intestacy instead of under the will, you would retain your 1/2 share of community property and 1/3 of the separate property. His kids would get the rest. That is oversimplified, but I recommend you spend an hour or so consulting a probate attorney who can steer you in the right direction.

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